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Lat Blaylock, Editor, RE Today
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The Story of Job
Is suffering a test?
In the Old Testament, we read about the story of Job, He was the richest man in the land and was holy, always following God's rules. However, one day God permitted Satan to test Job, to see if he was as committed to God as he appeared to be.
Here's where the story starts in the Bible...
When the day came for the heavenly beings to appear before the Lord, Satan was there among them. The Lord asked him, “What have you been doing?” Satan answered, “I have been walking here and there, roaming around the earth."
“Did you notice my servant Job?” the Lord asked. “There is no one on earth as faithful and good as he is. He worships me and is careful not to do anything evil.”
Satan replied, “Would Job worship you if he got nothing out of it? You have always protected him and his family and everything he owns. You bless everything he does, and you have given him enough cattle to fill the whole country. But now suppose you take away everything he has—he will curse you to your face!”
“All right,” the Lord said to Satan, “everything he has is in your power, but you must not hurt Job himself.” So Satan left. Job 1:6-12
Satan made sure that Job suffered a lot. Job lost everything, including his wife and children - they all died! Job was left with no money, no family and was struck down by illness, leaving him very sick. And his friends let him down badly.
Throughout this, Job stayed faithful to God, even sticking up for him with his friends.
In the end, God rewarded Job for staying faithful to him, giving him back much of what he'd lost. In fact, God gave him twice as much as he had before.
What does this teach Christians about suffering?
Some Christians believe they can learn much from Job's story, including:
- God uses suffering to test us.
- Even good people can experience suffering.
- We can always depend on God, even when it seems all hope is lost.
- If people get through the tests that are sent to them they will receive a great reward from God.
- Explain the story of Job in three sentences.
- What is the relationship like between Job and God?
- In your own words, explain how this story can help Christians who are suffering?
- What do you think is the most important lesson for Christians from this story?